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This Note charts the progress of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill through Parliament. It complements Research Paper 13/51 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.

The Bill received its Second Reading on 3 September 2013, and was committed to a Committee of the whole House of Commons.

Concerns were expressed in the Second Reading debate, by select committees and from outside the House, about the effect changes to the rules on non-party campaigning would have on charities and campaign groups; and about the effect the lobbying rules might have on Members.

The Bill was considered by a Committee of the whole House on 9, 10 and 11 September. Amendments were made to Parts 1 and 2 of the Bill but Part 3 of the Bill, on trade union administration, was not amended.

In Part 1 (on lobbying), Government amendments were accepted which meant that only those registered under the Value Added Tax Act 1994 would be required to register as consultant lobbyists. The Government also accepted an amendment that confirmed Members’ salaries and expenses or the expenses and allowances of members of the House of Lords would not count as payment for lobbying. The Government also undertook to safeguard the independence of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists.

In Part 2 (on non-party campaigning), some minor changes were made to the Bill but the Government promised that amendments would be tabled at Report Stage to address concerns that definitions in the Bill relating to “for election purposes” could restrict campaigning organisations in campaigning that was not intended to promote or procure the success of a party or candidate.

At Report Stage, the Government brought forward amendments on both Parts 1 and 2. There were amendments to clarify that lobbying aspects do not apply to MPs and amendments to modify the original definition of campaigning for electoral purposes, which affected charities and other third parties.

The Bill was given a Third Reading on 9 October 2013 and introduced in the House of Lords on the same day.

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